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Subject: Idea for an Elite Talent... would like some feedback rss

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Dave C
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I've been binge-watching DS9 lately, which has been a lot of fun, and has given me an idea for an elite talent...

During the show, it seems like the moment a ships needs a little extra something, we hear the captain call out "Transfer auxillary power to [forward] shields!" or "Transfer auxillary power to phasers!" It got me thinking that I'd like to do that in game. I haven't used a template to make a card yet, but here's what I'm imagining:

TRANSFER AUXILIARY POWER...
- Elite Talent
- Cost: 3
- Faction: Not sure about this... Federation?
Place an Auxiliary Power Token ("APT") on this card at set up.
If there is an APT on this card at the beginning of the activation phase, and no APT beside the ship, the ship gains the following possible actions:
Action: Place the APT beside the ship, and place two (new) shield tokens on this card. When taking damage, you may discard these tokens to cancel 1 [Hit] result each.
Action: Place the APT beside the ship, and place 3 attack dice on this card. These dice may be added to any attack roll involving the main weapon.
If an APT is removed from the ship, and there is no APT on this card, the APT must be placed on this card. Remove and unused shield tokens of dice when the APT is returned to this card.

I realize that the Talent doesn't disable, and it is reusable, and relatively cheap, but I feel like having to place an auxiliary power token on the ship is a fair exchange. There's risk involved in doing this too (i.e. I could transfer power to shields and limit my movement/actions next turn, but it would be no benefit if my enemy chooses to attack a different ship.) The requirement that the APT must be on the card at the beginning of the activation phase means that this could be used at most every other round (which would come at the cost of making your maneuvers very easily predictable).

Overall, I don't think it's overpowered, but I've only played a few casual games so far (no OP's in my area), and I haven't had a chance to playtest, so I don't know for sure. I'm less certain about the phasers action... 2 dice seems like it would not be worth the action, but 3 dice might be too powerful?

I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions.
 
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No And No Again
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EDIT - scratch this whole paragraph, I just reread your post.

EDIT 2 - seems a bit odd that the bonuses are associated with keeping hold of the auxiliary power token, though, because that means you can retain the bonuses by deliberately not shedding the token. "Keep flying recklessly, helmsman, we need those shields!" That's a bit... I don't know, gamey. I'm not saying it's something you'd often deliberately do, but it seems a bit weird. Unless I've misread your post again.

I also kind of prefer the idea that this kind of ability would be reactive, rather than preparatory, since on TV it always seems to be a desperation response, rather than essentially a guess that they might need such power imminently.



Anyway, I do like the idea - I did something vaguely similar here -



I did it as part of an Akira-class starship expansion, to make it seem high-tech - but to be honest it came from an idea I'd had for an advanced rule for all ships. They do this stuff all the time on TV. I keep meaning to print out a generic reference card with something like this on it, and hand one to everyone and say "right, we're using these today..."
 
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Kevin Smith
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dprcooke wrote:
I've been binge-watching DS9 lately, which has been a lot of fun, and has given me an idea for an elite talent...
During the show, it seems like the moment a ships needs a little extra something, we hear the captain call out "Transfer auxillary power to [forward] shields!" or "Transfer auxillary power to phasers!" It got me thinking that I'd like to do that in game. I haven't used a template to make a card yet, but here's what I'm imagining:
TRANSFER AUXILIARY POWER...
- Elite Talent
- Cost: 3
- Faction: Not sure about this... Federation?
Place an Auxiliary Power Token ("APT") on this card at set up.
If there is an APT on this card at the beginning of the activation phase, and no APT beside the ship, the ship gains the following possible actions:
Action: Place the APT beside the ship, and place two (new) shield tokens on this card. When taking damage, you may discard these tokens to cancel 1 [Hit] result each.
Action: Place the APT beside the ship, and place 3 attack dice on this card. These dice may be added to any attack roll involving the main weapon.
If an APT is removed from the ship, and there is no APT on this card, the APT must be placed on this card. Remove and unused shield tokens of dice when the APT is returned to this card.
I realize that the Talent doesn't disable, and it is reusable, and relatively cheap, but I feel like having to place an auxiliary power token on the ship is a fair exchange. There's risk involved in doing this too (i.e. I could transfer power to shields and limit my movement/actions next turn, but it would be no benefit if my enemy chooses to attack a different ship.) The requirement that the APT must be on the card at the beginning of the activation phase means that this could be used at most every other round (which would come at the cost of making your maneuvers very easily predictable).
Overall, I don't think it's overpowered, but I've only played a few casual games so far (no OP's in my area), and I haven't had a chance to playtest, so I don't know for sure. I'm less certain about the phasers action... 2 dice seems like it would not be worth the action, but 3 dice might be too powerful?
I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions.

I like the idea of this a lot.
I think you might be able to simplify how it works, though, and still have it do what you want it to. I'm thinking it could work in a similar fashion as the Scott card.

ACTION: Place an auxiliary power token beside your ship to gain one additional shield token OR +1 attack dice this round.

For a cost of three I'd have it add one shield or attack dice.
If you want to make it a little more effective and have it add two of either, I'd bump the cost to five.

Kevin
 
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Rob Stokes
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I'd make it single use as you never hear them saying it more than once in the show.

I think the way to look at it is using a battery to recharge things (shields / Weapons) once the battery is dead that's it its gone.
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Rob W

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I think it's a great concept. I'd make it a one shot, and add an option to repair hull damage as well (They're always talking about the structural integrity field, which seems to be what actually holds the ship/hull together under stress).

Since each stat point is worth two squadron points, I'd make it cost 3 points to repair 1 shield or hull or add one attack die to the primary weapon only. Make it 5 points to do the same for a 2 shield/hull/primary attack bonus. The extra 1 point cost above the basic stat cost is for the flexibility of which stat to enhance.

One final thought is it should probably be conditional on having already lost at least 1 shield or taken one point of hull damage/critical hit. Otherwise some people would be tempted to use it to bump up their attack value before they've taken any damage, and that seems to run counter to the spirit of this concept.

Just some thoughts
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Ted Kay
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Verse Ranger wrote:
I think it's a great concept. I'd make it a one shot, and add an option to repair hull damage as well (They're always talking about the structural integrity field, which seems to be what actually holds the ship/hull together under stress).

Since each stat point is worth two squadron points, I'd make it cost 3 points to repair 1 shield or hull or add one attack die to the primary weapon only. Make it 5 points to do the same for a 2 shield/hull/primary attack bonus. The extra 1 point cost above the basic stat cost is for the flexibility of which stat to enhance.

One final thought is it should probably be conditional on having already lost at least 1 shield or taken one point of hull damage/critical hit. Otherwise some people would be tempted to use it to bump up their attack value before they've taken any damage, and that seems to run counter to the spirit of this concept.

Just some thoughts


I like the condition of having taken damage to trigger it.

Not to hate on Klingons or Romulans, but adding a bit about about not being Cloaked stops Interphase Generator from making this very exploitable. Take a hit, pop the generator, pop the talent to gain more bonuses to hit while Cloaked with something like Khazara, and that's a lot of dice adding up quick.
 
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Dave C
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and input, it is much appreciated!

Buble Ghost - That looks like a pretty good upgrade. Have you play-tested it?

You've all convinced me that one-time use is both thematically appropriate, and better as a gameplay element. I've gone with a Cost 5 for a bonus of 2, as I don't think the Cost 3 for 1 is worth it. (Maybe for attack, but for shields, why not just choose Evade as your action? It still blocks one hit and you don't receive an auxiliary power token.)

As suggested, I've made it dependent on taking a hit (it fits the desperate response theme nicely). I added a limitation that the shields/hull cannot be repaired above their initial value, but am not sure if this is necessary... Does it already state somewhere that "repairs" cannot be used in this way?

Here's the new proposed text below. The one thing I not sure on yet is the Faction. I've got Federation, but am thinking of adding text specifying that there's no faction penalty as I don't particularly see a reason why this "should" be Federation only. (Certainly in the shows it's usually a Federation captain that shouts it, but that's because we're usually watching what's happening on the Federation bridge).

TRANSFER AUXILIARY POWER...
- Elite Talent
- Cost: 5
- Faction: Federation
If the ship has taken at least 1 hit, and is not cloaked, the ship gains the following possible actions:
Action: Discard this card to repair 2 Shields or 2 Hull. Shields/Hull may not be repaired above their initial value. Place an Auxiliary Power Token beside the ship.
Action: Discard this card to add 2 attack dice to the next attack made using your primary weapon. Place an Auxiliary Power Token beside the ship.

Any additional thoughts?

[Edit 1: Update re APT's and action]
[Edits 2/3: Updates re shield/hull split]
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Scooter of the Ancients
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A thoughts:
Ships can't take Actions with an APT, so it is redundant to say "if there is no APT beside the ship."


And another thought:
Transfer power to Shields? Check
Transfer power to Weapons? Check
Transfer power to... Engines?

Action: Discard this immediately make an additional Green Maneuver. Place an APT next to your ship.

Which is basically "Engage" with the added requirement of not being cloaked and needing to take damage.
 
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Dave C
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Mordaenor wrote:
A thoughts:
Ships can't take Actions with an APT, so it is redundant to say "if there is no APT beside the ship."


And another thought:
Transfer power to Shields? Check
Transfer power to Weapons? Check
Transfer power to... Engines?

Action: Discard this immediately make an additional Green Maneuver. Place an APT next to your ship.

Which is basically "Engage" with the added requirement of not being cloaked and needing to take damage.


Good point re: ships not being able to take actions with an APT... I've adjusted accordingly.

I thought about the "Transfer power to Engines" thing, and it makes sense. But I haven't included it (thus far) because:
(1) The current set-up feels like a last-ditch attempt to either blow up the enemy before dying or else get just enough shields to survive... an extra boost to the engines doesn't strike me as having the same "feeling" (though I suppose that the extra green maneuver could be just enough to get you out of someone's firing arc/put them in yours);
(2) We already have 'Engage' which provides that ability... whereas there is no auxiliary-power-for-shields/phasers that I know of;
(3) Adding the engines gives you 3 very useful options instead of 2. At only 5 points, that might be under-costed. Add 1 more point (for 6), and it gets to be prohibitively expensive in my mind (would also be the most expensive talent upgrade).


 
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Kevin Smith
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dprcooke wrote:

Action: Discard this card to repair 2 Shields, 2 Hull, or 2 of each.

I'm guessing you mean 2 Shields, 2 Hull, or 1 of each?
 
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Rob W

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underling wrote:
dprcooke wrote:

Action: Discard this card to repair 2 Shields, 2 Hull, or 2 of each.

I'm guessing you mean 2 Shields, 2 Hull, or 1 of each?


I'd go with dropping the option to split the benefit. That would be the equivalent of diverting the power to two different system at the same time, and it always seems to be only going to one in the show.

As for who should get it, I would have one for the Feds, one for Dominion (Cardasian only) and one for the Romulans. I don't see the Klingons or the Jem'Hadar diverting power to anything but weapons, and the Breen didn't appear to mind losing almost all their ships in the attack on Earth, so probably more like Klingon/Jem'Hadar in how they fight.
 
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Dave C
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underling wrote:
dprcooke wrote:

Action: Discard this card to repair 2 Shields, 2 Hull, or 2 of each.

I'm guessing you mean 2 Shields, 2 Hull, or 1 of each?

Yes, I meant that to be 1 of each.

Verse Ranger wrote:

I'd go with dropping the option to split the benefit. That would be the equivalent of diverting the power to two different system at the same time, and it always seems to be only going to one in the show.

Makes sense. Option removed.

Verse Ranger wrote:

As for who should get it, I would have one for the Feds, one for Dominion (Cardasian only) and one for the Romulans. I don't see the Klingons or the Jem'Hadar diverting power to anything but weapons, and the Breen didn't appear to mind losing almost all their ships in the attack on Earth, so probably more like Klingon/Jem'Hadar in how they fight.

Lol, the reason I considered making it available to the Klingons at least was so they'd have the option to increase the power to weapons... though I think in that case it would make more sense to have a Klingon-specific card (and Jem'Hadar-specific one) without the shield option.
 
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Rob W

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The Klingons already have a one shot card to repair 2 hull points (a fact that I just remembered a few minutes ago), so giving them another one might be overkill. But I seem to recall Duras in the Enterprise series ordering all remaining power to the weapons as he thought Archer was about to escape him, so a 4 point card for them to just bump up the primary weapons by 2 dice is probably in order.
 
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dprcooke wrote:
Buble Ghost - That looks like a pretty good upgrade. Have you play-tested it?


Not yet, just thought I'd add it to the idea pot.
 
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